The Lean Canvas is a planning tool developed by Ash Maurya based on Eric Ries’s Lean Startup methodology / philosophy. Ash has a companion book called Running Lean which walks through the process of completing the canvas.
I don’t want to spend 6 months creating a service to find there is no market for it or I have developed the wrong features. As I cannot validate Furld effectively using Adwords (and if I could, I might still build the wrong features) Lean Canvas looks a good bet for reducing as much risk as possible.
Ash breaks the process down into three stages:
- Problem/solution fit
- Product/market fit
The first two stages are the places to learn and pivot from Plan A to B to …
At the beginning of this process I have a set of hypotheses. During the first 2 stages I need to validate each hypothesis and pivot to a new one if a hypothesis proves false.
My initial hypothesis are:
- Bootstrapped startups use 3 or more third party services that deal with their customer data and have a problem coordinating them.
- Users would be willing to pay between $20 and $60 per month for such a solution.
- This market is too small and expensive to be targeted by Adwords and SEO.
- ‘Word of mouth’ can attract 300 to 1000 paying users within 12 months of launch.
I’m sure there will be many more to test along the way and these will need to be rewritten and refined so they are specific and testable